By Matt Ashworth
69 Love Songs, the Magnetic Fields’ 1999 opus, is one of my favorite musical recordings of all time. Subsequent releases, while failing to live up to that album’s high bar, continue to showcase the biting humor, clever word play and wonderful melodies of front-man Stephin Merritt. I’m excited to finally see them live this week; they’re one of a handful of active bands on my musical bucket list.
The Can Can is definitely a good choice Tuesday night. Headlining is Vince Mira, who made such a splash performing Johnny Cash and Hank Williams covers by the time he was 14 that he was invited on Good Morning America and Ellen. His lovely voice caught the ear of John Carter Cash, who helped produce his first album. Opening up are Ayron Jones & The Way. I know nothing about this local band, but in the last 20 days I’ve had three NadaMucho.com contributors send me emails containing hyperbolic praise about their potential.
Mudhoney are the greatest rock ‘n roll band to ever hail from the city of Seattle, period. Feedtime are Sub Pop’s latest pet project, an avante-garde Australian punk band that became a cult favorite for many, including the Mudhoney boys. This should be a real ass-kicker of a night.
Surrealized are a Seattle electro-pop outfit featuring High Dive sound guy Rob Anonymous and jack-of-all-musical-trades Kimo Muraki. They set their spacey, soulful songs to a cool multi-media show, so get to Chop Suey early enough to see them open for Anomie Belle on Thursday night.
Hunx is responsible for my surprise favorite song of 2011, “Lovers Lane,” which perfectly rehashes 60s girl-group pop through the lens of a gay punk boy and his band of babes. Friday night they’ll play with two of their Hardly Art label mates fresh back from SXSW: Grave Babies and TacocaT.
Seattle is gaga for Seattle singer/songwriter Star Anna Constantina Krogstie Bamford and her band, the Laughing Dogs. I finally got to see them last year when they graciously played a fundraiser for my daughter’s co-op preschool and can confirm that Ms. Star Anna has a powerful voice and a talented band. It’s just that they sound kinda like Bonnie Raitt and I didn’t like most of their songs. I seem to be in the minority on this one, though, so check them out this weekend at the Tractor and let me know what you think.
This Brooklyn band’s getting praise from big outlets like SPIN, Village Voice, The Guardian, BBC and MTV for their polished, psychedelic piano pop. Drawing comparisons to Doves, Elbow and even Coldplay, this is likely one of those bands that will get huge not long after playing the intimate High Dive in Fremont. (See also: Foster the People) We’ll be giving away a couple tickets later in the week on Twitter, so check us out there.